Land and conflict in Africa

It is rare that I read an article about Africa that successfully intertwines a rich understanding of history with current events, politics and human lives. Jina Moore‘s article about African land disputes this week in the Christian Science Monitor does it. The article is especially impressive because, although scholars of Africa know that conflicts over land are a fundamental element of wars, upheaval and disagreements from Darfur to Tanzania to Nigeria, it’s not usually a subject that makes for great headlines. It’s also a difficult topic to bring to American audiences that are used to being fed the facile story of “ancient hatreds” — tribe, ethnicity and race — as explanations for African conflict (and behavior in general). Visit Moore’s story through the Scarlett Lion, where Glenna Gordon has posted more relevant links and the photography she did for the piece.